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|12 Jan. 1559||THOMAS STEYNING 1|
|SIR NICHOLAS LESTRANCE 2|
|1562/3||SIR NICHOLAS LESTRANGE|
|1571||SIR NICHOLAS LESTRANGE|
|Jan. 1581||SIR WILLIAM DRURY vice Flowerdew, sick|
|26 Nov. 1584||MICHAEL STANHOPE|
|5 Oct. 1586||PHILIP WOODHOUSE|
|27 Oct. 1588||BARTHOLOMEW KEMP|
|29 Sept. 1597||THOMAS GUYBON|
|1601||JOHN PEYTON III|
Castle Rising was a mesne borough, belonging to the 4th Duke of Norfolk until his attainder and execution in 1572. It was governed by a mayor and burgesses. The first parliamentary return made by the borough was in 1558, no doubt through the influence of the Duke. The 1559 return took the form of a deed in which the mayor and burgesses declared that they had chosen two burgesses to represent them in Parliament. Later returns are in the form of indentures between the mayor and certain burgesses on the one side, and the sheriff of Norfolk on the other.
For the first three Parliaments of the reign the Duke of Norfolk nominated to both seats, changing his mind at the last minute in 1559, when he brought in his stepfather Thomas Steyning instead of Sir John Radcliffe who was lounrl a seat at Grampound. By 1572 Norfolk was in disgrace, yet one ot the men returned in that year was his servant, Nicholas Mynn, who, however, by that time, resided fairly near the borough. Edward Flowerdew, Mynn’s fellow MP, was a lawyer whose connexion with the borough has not been established. After Norfolk’s death, the borough passed into the hands of trustees for his son Philip, and Howard influence in elections is not apparent again for the rest of the reign.
The most important local patrons after 1572 were the Lestranges of Hunstanton, erstwhile servants of the Duke of Norfolk. Sir Nicholas Lestrange had already sat for the borough in the first three Parliaments of the reign. Philip Woodhouse (1586) and Henry Spelman (1593, 1597), who had married into the family, and Richard Stubbe (1589), a Norfolk lawyer acting for the family, all owed their returns at Castle Rising to Lestrange influence. The Townshend family of Raynham, Norfolk—Roger Townshend had been in the service of the 4th Duke of Norfolk—also exercised parliamentary patronage at Castle Rising on behalf of Michael Stanhope, a relation by marriage (1584), and possibly also on behalf of Stanhope’s fellow-Member and fellow-courtier Richard Drake, who otherwise had no connexion with the borough. Two Townshend brothers, John and Robert, were returned on their own merits in 1593 and 1601.
The remaining four Elizabethan MPs were from local families. Thomas Norris (1586), a lawyer, and brother-in-law of Thomas Guybon (1597), was probably brought in by Edward Coke. Guybon himself owed his return to his family’s local influence: his father was sheriff at the time of the election. Bartholomew Kemp, a civil lawyer, was related by marriage to the Bacons and was dependent on them for his seat in 1589. John Peyton III (1601) of Wells, Norfolk, was returned on the strength of his father’s local influence.
Sir William Drury was one of those replacements for living MPs whose membership was allowed at the start of the 1581 session, but disallowed at the end.3